Trinity College School

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This past Monday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m., in Trinity College School’s Memorial Chapel, I was able to witness an impressive display of power. To be more specific: student power. I will eventually provide some insight into this event, but first, a few thoughts and insights into power.

It is commonly thought that individuals are interested in attaining power in order to control things or others. An article by Julie Beck that appeared in The Atlantic magazine on May 22, 2016, however, introduces an alternate view of why people want power. She posits that people want power in order to gain better control over themselves!

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

If there was one particular aspect of our most recent break from our academic schedule that I most enjoyed it was reacquainting myself with the joy of reading. Like you, I do actually read a lot, in manageable chunks. Virtually every day of the year includes me reading emails, letters, various publications specific to education, online articles directed to me by colleagues and friends, portions of the Globe and Mail newspaper and essays from entities such as The Atlantic, The New Yorker and the New York Times. I also have three piles of books on my bedside table; I have started them all and finished none.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The end of a calendar year prompts a host of media articles and programs that attempt to capture the highlights and lowlights of the past 365 days. Politics, celebrities, Nobel Prize winners, Oscar winning movies, books, wars and tragedies often dominate the content.

I was initially tempted, as a result, to develop my own Top 10 List of Achievements at TCS. The problem with creating such a synopsis is that a list of achievements is not a truly representative method of capturing the essence of a year. Also, inevitably someone or something is accidentally left off the list! Furthermore, as a school, the calendar year really represents two different academic years – the second half of 2017-2018 and the first half of 2018-2019 – which adds to the degree of difficulty in synthesizing a single calendar year.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Have you identified one thing that you would love to do in your lifetime yet? One thing that you think might not be possible but dream that you might be able to do one day? If not, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about this. It is a lot of fun to let your thoughts wander and dream about the possibilities. Of course, it is even more fun if you are able to fulfill your dream one day.

For years, I dreamt of playing the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters golf tournament. I never thought my dream would become a reality. After all, many high profile politicians, billionaires and professional golfers have been denied the ability to play at Augusta. But I got the opportunity. On May 12, 2012 I teed off at 2:45 p.m. I can mentally relive my entire experience, shot by shot. And, I warn you, I never get tired of telling people about it!

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Thursday, December 06, 2018

This week, all of our Senior School students and teachers, and many staff members, have been involved with our annual Week Without Walls initiative. In this, the 10th anniversary of this incredible service initiative, there are approximately 500 students and nearly 100 adults out of the typical classroom, actively volunteering in the greater community.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

I am a parent of three kids. I have also been involved professionally in education for over 30 years at four different schools. Like most of you, I have seen a host of changes in education and parenting over the last three decades. And I truly believe the vast majority of changes have benefitted kids. I see parents having closer relationships with their children and I see teachers doing more for their students. And, the effect, at least from my perspective at TCS, is that kids are generally better citizens than during my time in school as a student.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Towards the end of the last semester of the 2017-2018 academic year I interviewed six of our Grade 5 students. My intention in doing so was to, in the future, create a video for our faculty and staff that would hopefully identify the strengths of TCS from the perspective of our youngest and newest “recruits.” As adults in the TCS community, while we know we have something special here at TCS, we sometimes struggle to describe succinctly the one or two things that make TCS distinctive and/or that distinguish our learning environment from others. My goal in interviewing the kids was to hopefully capture the School’s essence “from the mouth of babes,” as it were.

Like many experiments, particularly unscientific ones, the outcome can vary from the hypothesis. And, sometimes the conclusion is even better than you imagined. And this was the case on May 21, 2018 between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

This coming weekend, students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends of Trinity College School will run the Oxford Cup. This annual event, run now on the third Saturday of November, first started in 1896. Originally, it was a competition between the fastest five boys in each of the upper and lower flats (which, of course, are now known as "houses"). The competition has evolved over the years, to its present form, in which participation is as important as identifying the fittest and fastest.

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

This past weekend at the School, we hosted a strategic planning workshop in the Cirne Commons. Led by TCS governor, past parent and associate dean of MBA and master’s programs at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, Dr. Elspeth Murray P’08 ’10, 50 representatives from the broad TCS community offered their thoughts on the future of our beloved school. Parents, alumni, faculty, staff, board and foundation members, trustees and our head girl actively participated in identifying the strengths, opportunities and challenges facing independent schools in general, and specifically, TCS.

This workshop was one of many efforts – which have also included employee listening sessions, a survey to more than 7,500 community members, work groups and one-on-one conversations – initiated by the School and board, to solicit input on the near and distant future of Trinity College School.  

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

On Monday, October 15th, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation at the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Heads and Chairs Conference in Calgary, Alberta, led by Mr. Robert Evans, entitled “Why a school doesn’t run or change like a business.” The next day, at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Dr. Elspeth Murray – former TCS parent, current governor and strategic planning expert – held listening sessions for our faculty and staff to collectively explore the challenges and opportunities facing TCS for the next five to 10 years, as part of the School’s strategic planning process now underway.

These two events provide the inspiration for the content in this blog post. I strongly believe that prior to starting to plan for the future of our students, and for the School as a whole, it is important that we all understand the differences between a business and a school.

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